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Basic Research & Applied Research: Know the Differences

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Research assists people in gaining new information, understanding, and generating new concepts or ideas.

Any research project should be carried out with utmost care, diligence, serious research, and investigation. This helps find the accurate interpretation of facts during the final discovery.

These are a few different types of research, but here we will learn some facts about basic vs. applied research and its examples.

Basic and applied research is differentiated depending on their purpose and utility. These approaches have several meeting and departure points; researchers must comprehend them thoroughly.


What is basic research?

Basic research writing is an entirely theoretical strategy intended to advance or broaden the body of knowledge in a particular field of study. It is also known as pure research or fundamental research. It is intended to learn more in-depth information about a research topic or phenomenon and is depending on a systematic investigation.

In order to fill voids in science’s societal utility, the idea of basic research emerged in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Exploratory, descriptive, and explanatory types of basic research are all possible. This research strategy’s main objective is to gather data in order to comprehend a problem and then use that data to suggest solutions.

An Outline of Basic Research

The basic research method can be done in the following ways:

  1. Interview

An interview is a technique of data collection that includes interacting with an individual one-on-one to gather relevant information about a phenomenon. Depending on the research method and objectives, interviews can be structured, unstructured, or semi-structured.  

  1. Observation

Observation is the process of closely observing a phenomenon for a predetermined amount of time in order to learn useful information about its characteristics. The researcher may need to spend a specific amount of time watching the research subject interact with its natural environment when conducting basic research.

  1. Experiment

A type of quantitative data collection method is called an experiment. It is used to test theories and validate or disprove hypotheses. In this data collection technique, the researcher manipulates dependent and independent variables to achieve measurable research outcomes.

  1. Questionnaire

It is a data collection tool composed of a sequence of questions to which research subjects respond. This tool is a cost-effective data collection method because it lets you simultaneously collect large data samples from group members.

  1. Data Reporting

In data reporting, a researcher gathers relevant data and computes them for research analysis to arrive at a particular conclusion. The foundation of this method depends on all the data that has been gathered.

  1. Case Studies

In order to gather factual data about the characteristics and behaviors of the research subject, a case study is a type of data collection technique that involves a thorough examination of a specific subject matter. Although primarily qualitative, this method of data collection can also be quantitative or numerical.

Basic Research Examples


New educational theories which explain the various behaviours of teachers and students in the learning environment are developed in education using basic research.

Examples of fundamental studies in education consist of:

  • How does a memory function?
  • How do young people learn new dialects?


Medical professionals can learn more about various health issues from basic research, such as the causes and signs of illnesses and infections, which can help search for a treatment.

Examples of basic health research include:

  • A study of the Human Papillomavirus’s secondary symptoms (HPV).
  • An examination of the signs and symptoms of diarrhoea.


Basic psychological research is used to understand various psychological conditions in order to better understand these behaviours.

Examples of applied psychology research include:

  • What are the options for treating anxiety disorders?
  • How can workplace productivity be increased for employees?

Explore the Practical Applications of Basic vs Applied Research

Mastering the intricacies of the methodologies associated with basic and applied research can be overwhelming and not to forget time-consuming. Go through our below-given basic vs. applied research samples to comprehend both theoretical frameworks and research in action, gaining crucial insights in your research pursuits.

Basic Research & Applied Research Example

Basic Research & Applied Research Example

View Sample

Basic Research Topics


  • Which school anti-bullying initiatives have been successful?
  • How successful is student-centred learning?
  • What should I do during the year, and are there any advantages to taking a year off?
  • What visual tools can be used in every classroom?


  • Why is PCOS affecting more and more women?
  • How can insulin resistance be combated?
  • What are some strategies for persuading obese people to modify their behaviour?
  • How can Israeli research into colon cancer represent a genuine advance?
  • Which conditions can emotional stress lead to?


  • What is the Internet of Things’ history?
  • Why didn’t pixels replace vector graphics as the norm?
  • What technological developments are relevant to medicine?
  • What are nuclear reactors using molten salt?
  • Does solar energy power everything?

Social Problems

  • What solutions exist for the immigration crisis?
  • Is there a way to stop racism from spreading?
  • Why do anti-LGBT communities still exist?
  • Is it possible to stop sex trafficking in developing nations?
  • Can we still stop global warming?

Criminal Justice and Law

  • Which of the Supreme Court’s rulings have you found the best?
  • What have some of the Supreme Court’s worst rulings been?
  • How can students safeguard themselves against repaying student loans?
  • How can family law be improved?
  • Which nations have the weakest legal frameworks?
  • Which nations have the most exemplary legal systems?

What are the Benefits of Conducting Basic Research?

  • Basic research is responsible for many researches in various areas of study and regarded as a forerunner in technological solutions.
  • It also improves knowledge of various subjects and provides various extents for interpreting the subjects.
  • This research lays the foundation of the applied research.

The Implications of Basic Research

  • Basic research is such a method which exposes investigators to different aspects of a particular subject.
  • This is useful for improving general knowledge and helps to solve problems during applied research.
  • While writing my research paper, the investigator uses one or more qualitative and quantitative observation methods.
  • The data collection methods assist the investigator to collect accurate and relevant data for the study.


What is Applied Research?

The process of conducting applied research entails evaluating how successfully we applied the knowledge we gained from basic science to a given problem. Although the techniques used here are similar to those in basic research, the objectives of the study are different.

Applied research can systematically comprehend and measure how successfully an engineered system addresses the issue for which it was created. System design, implementation, and testing are all included in applied research.

Although applied research frequently employs experimental rigor, its main goal is to comprehend how a system or application works, such as the true/false positive rate of an intrusion detection algorithm.

An Outline of Applied Research

In applied research, both quantitative and qualitative data collection techniques are used to collect experimental proof that is then investigated to extract at valid research outcomes. In applied research, these data collection techniques are used:

  1. Interviews

The interview is a research technique where the researcher asks questions to the participants to collect information. Interviews in applied research can include 5 – 10 participants in which a one-on-one session is conducted and the answers are noted down or recorded in a video.

  1. Surveys/Questionnaires

A questionnaire is also used to collect data for applied research. It aids in collecting pertinent information that leads to more informed choices. However, it is susceptible to bias because the person or group collecting the data can easily exaggerate it.

  1. Data Reporting

It is the procedure of gathering pertinent data about a research topic that can be used for more research. Non-profit reports, newspapers, online articles, and medical records can all be used for this. It aids in collecting pertinent information that leads to more informed choices. However, it is prone to bias because the person or group collecting the data can easily exaggerate it.

  1. Observation

The observation help in the collection of empirical data; it serves as the basis for the formulation of a hypothesis. Several observation methods include participant as an observer, participant as a participant, complete observer, and complete participant.

  1. Focus Groups

A focus group is a research technique that assembles a small group of individuals to respond to questions in a controlled environment. The questions are intended to shed light on an interesting topic, and the group is selected based on predetermined demographic characteristics.

Applied Research Examples


By offering workable solutions to pedagogical issues, applied research in education enhances teaching and learning techniques.

Following are some instances of research in education:

  • A research project to spark students’ interest in religious studies.
  • A report to enhance teacher-student communication in the classroom.


Applied research can help health and medical professionals to create evidence-based solutions to urgent medical problems.

Instances of applied health research comprise:

  • A study to ascertain the therapeutic potential of mushrooms.
  • A study to identify the negative effects of alcohol use.


It is extensively used to improve solutions for organizational behavior, policies, and hiring procedures.

 Examples of psychology research are:

  • What are the options for treating anxiety disorders?
  • How can workplace productivity be increased for employees?

Applied Research Topics

The following are examples of applied research topics. You can see that each of these topics covers a real-world problem.


  • Interventions for aggressive behavior in children
  • Methods for Managing Schizophrenia in Adolescents
  • How to cure Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder
  • Is mercury poisoning causing mental disorders?
  • Should vaccines be avoided to prevent autism?


  • How can bullying in elementary schools be avoided?
  • What are some strategies for increasing children’s school readiness?
  • What can be done to increase the number of high school graduates who choose to attend college?
  • Is college tuition becoming prohibitively expensive for young adults who want to be successful and self-sufficient?


  • The effectiveness of Kentucky’s abstinence programs
  • Should pilots carry weapons?
  • What is causing increased poverty in cities?
  • How do the media influence female body image?
  • What changes are required to generate jobs in rural areas?


  • How can cyber security be enhanced to combat election fraud?
  • Is today’s technology beneficial or harmful to children?
  • Is modern technology causing people to “dumb down”?
  • How do social media influence people’s perceptions of society and themselves?


  • How to Put an End to Hate Crime?
  • What strategies can be used to keep criminals from reoffending?
  • Is it possible to keep juvenile offenders from becoming lifelong criminals?

What are the Benefits of Conducting Applied Research?

  • Applied research can provide practical solutions to the problems of the real world.
  • Applied research can improve the development of products and technologies.
  • It can increase competency and help in cost reduction in various industries.
  • It will improve the quality of life, create new job opportunities and promote economic growth.

The Implications of Applied Research

  • Applied research assists organizations in developing applied solutions to particular glitches by increasing production and output.
  • It focuses on developing theories to explain various phenomena.
  • Applied research describes empirical evidence to provide solutions.

Basic Research vs. Applied Research – The Contrast

The following list of 15 differences between basic and applied research:

S. No.TermsBasicApplied
1. Definition· Basic research aims to increase the perimeters of knowledge by developing new theories by revising the old ones. · Secondly, by gathering and examining empirical data, applied research focuses primarily on developing solutions to issues to produce reliable research findings.· While basic research is an approach to research that seeks to advance knowledge in a field of study, applied research is a methodology that develops practical solutions for particular problems. · In contrast to basic research, which is knowledge-specific, applied research is solution-driven.
2. Characteristics· The focus of basic research is theory. · Basic research focuses on specific problems and is primarily concerned with knowledge expansion rather than the practical application of research findings.· Applied research primarily focuses on offering a workable solution to a predetermined problem. · While basic research is explanatory and analytical, applied research is goal-oriented and synthetic.
3. Uses· Basic research is beneficial for learning a concept, any type of phenomenon, or field of study. · This research investigates the functions and characteristics of recently discovered occurrences to develop understanding of these concepts.· Applied research can help you find practical solutions to problems. · Applied research contributes to developing new technologies and solutions to specific problems.
4. Alarmed With· The creation of new information and principles that are extensions of existing theories.· Applied Research is meant to expand new tools and technology for industrial applications.
5. Environment· Basic research is carried out in confined spaces such as laboratories.· Applied research is carried out in an open world with many unexpected variables.
6. Advantage· Basic research has a subjective methodology. · Basic research is usually objective because it derives conclusions by subjecting empirical data to accepted scientific practices, which makes it a more reliable research method.· Without offering answers to on-going issues, applied research assists groups and individuals in finding solutions to particular issues. · However, this does not change the fact that results from applied research can be used to suggest solutions to issues.
7. Scope of research· Basic research is more universal than conceptual research because it deals with various concepts across numerous subject areas. · Fundamental research examines knowledge in various dimensions to learn new things and advance the body of knowledge.· Compared to basic research, applied research is more constrained in its application. · This is because, unlike basic research, which can be applied to various concepts, applied research primarily focuses on a single subject, with its research findings using principally to this subject.
8. Theory formulation· Basic research aims to develop theories that clarify research results, to improve a body of knowledge. · Principles and theories are the main topics of basic research. · Basic research aims to develop theories and generalizations that completely explain a concept, subject, or phenomenon.· Findings from applied research are intended to address real-world issues. · The goal of applied research is resolution. · Applied or conceptually oriented research examines empirical data to connect its conclusions to a particular issue.
9. Research outcomes· Basic research can develop new theories, improve existing theories and advances the knowledge of the people. · Basic research results do not help to provide practical solutions to a real-world issue.· The researcher reaches valid discoveries that support or refute the research theories after conducting applied research and challenging the experimental proof. · These conclusions frequently provide specific research questions with answers, which is the purpose of the applied research.
10. Research approach· The basic research is more theoretical. · In this way, basic research advances previously developed theories to add to the body of existing knowledge.· Applied research is more descriptive and practical. · It is concerned about the utility of research outcomes, i.e. how they can be used to solve the problems and find solutions.
11. Nature of Research· Basic research has a theoretical design based on previously established ideas and theorems. · Basic research is more hypothetical because it generates conjectures and looks into data that might not be immediately applicable. · Additionally, it is focused on advancing current academic concepts.· Nature is fully practical and implied to develop strategies for applications in industrial use cases in applied research. · Since applied research aims to reduce and solve problems in various fields. · It is typically concerned with end-utilization, as it is more practical and graphic.
12. Efficacy· Basic research serves a universal purpose and has a broad scope of application.· Applied research’s main benefit is constrained and has a practical issue.
13. Purpose· Fundamental research highlights knowledge extension over problem-solving. · Basic research typically done to satisfy the urge of a person to learn more.· Applied research aims to identify a solution to a practical problem. · Here researchers often try to help the companies or a person to find a solution to their challenges.
14. Achievement· Basic research contributes to society’s knowledge of a particular subject. · It explains why the occurrence of certain events is more common in disciplines like sociology, biology, astronomy, philosophy, and theology.· Applied research typically yields greater financial rewards. · Applied research can aid in developing new products and may result in financial gain. · Governments and businesses frequently prefer applied research to basic research.
15. Research context· Basic research is done in a controlled environment, such as a laboratory or restricted real-life setting. · The sterile research environment in basic research enables researchers to observe the research subjects’ behaviours and attributes.· In applied research, the independent and dependent variables are allowed to interact spontaneously in an open setting with other variables. · This enables the researcher to comprehensively understand the research problem and arrive at valid and practical solutions.

Basic Research vs. Applied Research: The Similarities

Data Collection TechniquesUse qualitative and quantitative data collection techniques including questionnaires, surveys, case studies, and interviewsUse qualitative and quantitative data collection techniques including questionnaires, surveys, interviews and focus groups.
IntersectionBasic research is done to find the problems or challenges.These problems are then assessed to via applied research to find the solution
Deductive and Inductive ArgumentationUses inductive and deductive reasoning. In deductive reasoning, the researcher transitions from idea to observation and in inductive reasoning, the observation is transitioned to idea.In applied research also, a researcher uses the same inductive and deductive reasoning for his observations.

Summing up,

Researchers must understand the applied and basic research methods by looking at the instances of basic vs. applied research in psychology. As previously stated, the primary difference between applied and basic research is done to accomplish the intention of the research.

Aside from the purpose of the research, both type types of research differ in terms of outcomes, nature, and context. Nonetheless, both of the research methods use similar data collection processes, such as inspection and interviews, to find the appropriate results.

Most Popular Questions Searched By Students:

Q.1. Is Applied Research subjective or quantitative?

Yes, applied research is mainly subjective as it is used to understand human behaviour and the reasons behind it. In this type of research, researchers drown themselves in the subject matter at an emotional level.

Q.2. Why did you choose applied research?

Researcher always chooses applied research as it is a very important tool for them. This type of process helps a researcher investigate the problems in a certain environment and find a solution.

Q.3. What is the intent of applied research?

The primary intent of applied research is to design or develop new goods or products and improve services to satisfy specific markets. It determines the market’s requirements. Finding new ways to enhance products that already satisfy the needs of an organization is its main objective.

Q.4. Which research efforts are called applied research?

Efforts to find practical solutions to the problems, such as infrastructure or conversation, are called applied research.

Q.5. Why is the basic research done?

Basic research experiments are performed to gain further scientific knowledge without any benefit. This research is done to know the function of newly discovered molecules, cells or any phenomena.

Q.6. Is basic or applied research more important?

Information that is found through basic research will help to develop theories. On the other hand, applied research can collect data by solving specific problems. As the problem-solving method is always effective, applied research is more important than basic research.

Q.7. How do the goals of basic and applied research differ?

The difference in the goals of both types of research is – basic research aims towards the discovery of new knowledge or improvement of the existing knowledge. On the other hand, applied research aims to verify social or conventional problems and find a solution.

Q.8. Can a research study be both basic and applied?

Yes, while researching, one first needs to find the problem. Then perform basic research on one hand to develop or improve theories and applied research on the other hand to find a practical solution to improve the condition.

Q.9. What is the relationship between basic research and applied science?

In the medical field, basic research is done to understand how the cells work to know the fundamental problem. Then applied science is applied to the basic scientific knowledge for solving the problem.

Q.10. Do basic and applied sciences rely on each other?

Yes, applied science uses the information collected from basic research to solve practical problems.

Q.11. For what specific purpose is basic research important?

Basic science is the support system of scientific theory. All the researchers use their basic knowledge to perform any examination or processes needed for the development.

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Hi, I am Mark, a Literature writer by profession. Fueled by a lifelong passion for Literature, story, and creative expression, I went on to get a PhD in creative writing. Over all these years, my passion has helped me manage a publication of my write ups in prominent websites and e-magazines. I have also been working part-time as a writing expert for for 5+ years now. It’s fun to guide students on academic write ups and bag those top grades like a pro. Apart from my professional life, I am a big-time foodie and travel enthusiast in my personal life. So, when I am not working, I am probably travelling places to try regional delicacies and sharing my experiences with people through my blog. 

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